John R. Melster

April 7, 1921 Ė March 10, 2014

John R. Melster of Waukesha passed away Monday, March 10, 2014, at Avalon Square at the age of 92. John was born on April 7, 1921, the son of Anna (nee Fischer) and Hermann Melster.

He was a graduate of Washington High School. John was united in marriage to Florence Cook on May 9, 1942. They were married almost 72 years. John proudly served in World War II from 1943 until 1946 as a chief warrant officer under General Pattonís 3rd Army with the 11th Armored Division, 575th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion and participated in the Ardennes-Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns, which included the Battle of the Bulge. After returning home from WWII, he served in the Reserves for 14 years. John and his grandson, Tony Bellovary were pleased to be a part of the 2010 Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

John helped to start Dairyland Food Laboratories, where he worked for many years and then went on to start his own company, The Melster Company. He worked until he was 89.

John was an avid tennis player all his life and played until he was in his mid-80s. He was very involved in the Waukesha Tennis Association. He was part of a long-standing ping pong group that played regularly. John participated in the Wisconsin Senior Olympics and won many gold medals. He played ping pong until he was 90. John enjoyed attending Packers, Brewers, Badgers and Carroll games with friends and family. He was a loyal supporter of his grandchildrenís sporting activities at Waukesha West High School and was a member of the Booster Club.

John was very invested in his community and a dedicated volunteer. He was involved in many things, including at St. Matthias Episcopal Church for more than 60 years, where he served in a variety of capacities; Friends of the Waukesha Public Library, where he was the treasurer for more than 40 years and honored in 2010 with a painting that was put in the library art collection; a lifetime Optimist; and a board member of the Parentís Place and Training Center and United Way campaigns. John received the Silver Beaver Award from the Potawatomi Boy Scout Council for his tireless volunteer work. He was very proud of his connection to Carroll College, where he did years of fundraising for the Pioneer sports teams. He received the Founderís Day Award as well as many other recognitions for his longtime dedication to community causes. He and Florence delivered Meals on Wheels for the Caring Place for more than 14 years and they also volunteered at the Food Pantry. John was given the Key to the City in 2010 by the mayor at an event honoring him for his many contributions.

John and Florence enjoyed traveling that included the United States and Europe. They especially enjoyed Door County and Chicago.

John will be missed by his wife, Florence; daughter, Cathy (Paul Schmidt) Bellovary; and son, John Brad (Mary Kay) Melster, all of Waukesha; his grandchildren, Tony (Hollie) Bellovary of Green Bay, Nick (Angela) Bellovary of Waukesha, Matt (Nicole) Melster of Pueblo, Colo., and Caitlin Melster of Waukesha; his great-grandchildren Ava, Amanda, Sawyer and Eliza Bellovary and Isabella and Sofia Melster; Frank Bellovary; and many other relatives and friends.

The visitation for John will be held on Saturday, March 15, from 12:00 PM until the time of the 2:00 PM memorial service at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 111 E. Main St., Waukesha, WI 53186. The Rev. David Simmons will preside. Interment will follow the service in the church columbarium.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Avalon Square Specialty Care, 222 Park Place, Waukesha, WI 53186; Friends of the Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186; or to St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 111 E. Main St., Waukesha, WI 53186.

Johnís family would like to give heartfelt thanks to the staff at Linden Court, Avalon Square and Seasons Hospice for their support and loving care during Johnís journey these last 14 months.

Randle-Dable-Brisk Funeral, Cremation and Preplanning Services is honored to serve the family. For further information, please call the funeral home at 547-4035 or visit our website at www.waukeshafunerals.com for directions or to leave the family an online tribute message.